Rock Trembath

Marketing Team Roles and Structure for Startups, Small Business or Internal Agencies

As a startup or small business owner, building a marketing team can look like a daunting task. With limited resources and a need to make every dollar count, it’s important to identify the roles required to maximizes efficiency and get results.

In this video, I’ll share some thoughts on how to identify the key marketing team roles and  how to structure your team to achieve your business goals. Whether you’re looking to build an internal agency or just starting out this video outlines some valuable insights from my experience building marketing teams.

Transcript – Marketing Team Roles & Structure for Startups Small Business or Internal Agencies:

[00:00:00] I have a lot of conversations with e-commerce owners and startup founders, and the common question that always comes back is, How do I build a team? So in this video we’re gonna talk a little bit about the thought process you can employ to figure out how to build a team, some of the hiring needs to consider, and how to structure it to go forward and start putting out content.

[00:00:24] Before we get started. I need to be clear. There is no right answer.

[00:00:29] Everyone’s business is structured a little bit differently and depending on the channels. Or the people you’re trying to talk to, it’s always gonna be a little different. 

[00:00:38] First thing you need to do is choose your channels.

[00:00:41] By that I mean, where are you planning to market your content?

[00:00:44] Each one will have its own little messaging tweaks that need to happen. 

[00:00:48] If you look at my other videos, like the branding exercise, one thing you should always have is a list of your influences or competitors . So you know where in the media landscape you fit in.

[00:00:58] The output of this step should be a list of platforms or places you’re going to be posting your content to.

[00:01:05] Now, for the hard part,

[00:01:07] Prioritize. Prioritize, prioritize,

[00:01:11] If you could only pick one or two, which channels would they be? You want to build your critical channels first, so make sure you have an idea of where the biggest opportunity is and which one is more of a longer term thing maybe for brand or corporate needs.

[00:01:25] Now that you have a prioritized list, I’d recommend that you take a couple minutes and make a content map. If you need help figuring out how to do that, you can look at the video I previously made. There’s also a little one in the next slide here, because I’ve made an example.

[00:01:40] Let’s say I’m looking to hire help to turn my personal brand into a marketing machine.

[00:01:45] This is roughly what the content map would look like as of today. I have my website as the primary source, and then my Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. All push traffic back to it.

[00:01:56] With the high level channels in the plan, the next thing that I would do is just identify the types of content each channel requires. So you can think about the skills you need to have to scale your marketing. Your list can be something simple like this, just showing where you need text, image, and video across the different channels.

[00:02:13] In my case, I’m also looking to include my blog in the content plan. So I’m gonna add it into my map so I remember it’s part of the picture.

[00:02:21] so looking at my basic distribution plan, I’m noticing text, image and video are kind of the main things going across the channels. And they can all be fed from a blog post.

[00:02:31] Now the question is who’s gonna do it? And really it’s a time versus money equation. In my case, I’m putting my time into running most of these roles and occasionally using money in your case with a different skillset. You may be using more freelancers, or if you’re just a business person, it’s gonna be mostly a money equation.

[00:02:49] Just remember your hours aren’t free. So if you are doing the money math, make sure you’re paying yourself to at least know what you’ve invested. Into your efforts also like and subscribe so that I continue my efforts.

[00:03:06] Referring back to our content distribution plan, we can now make a list of the skills or roles that we may need to hire to be able to fill our distribution channels. 

[00:03:16] If you’re lucky enough to have an HR person in your situation, then this would be the time to get them involved.

[00:03:22] So we’ve identified we need a writer, but what kind of writer?

[00:03:25] We’re looking for a writer who has some knowledge of SEO to help with the blog posts. They’ll also help with captions on the social posts. Blog adapts, which is when you take the blog and put it into social content. So like the threads and they may also contribute to the scripts of videos.

[00:03:43] Now, that is a lot of specialty, so I’ll caution you up front the odds of finding someone who can do all of that well is pretty slim. But if you find a good candidate with a great attitude, they can always learn and give you something decent.

[00:03:55] Another thing to consider is if they’re a writer or an editor. If you’re using AI to generate drafts like I’ve shown in some of my other videos, then you may be looking for more of an editor that can help clean up the copy for these different types of items.

[00:04:08] We also noted we needed images for pretty much every channel.

[00:04:11] I made a few notes here like your profiles, your timeline images, your supers, which is ad slang for the text over top of things, as well as your social edits.

[00:04:22] Most graphic designers can do all of these things. Just keep in mind different graphic designers have different styles, so make sure they’re capable of giving the style your brand is looking for.

[00:04:31] Next up is video. And as I said before, you need to kind of think about the production quality that you’re looking for. Video can be one person with their iPhone or it can be a team of three people with a lighting rig, a sound guy, a producer . How big are you going?

[00:04:47] Everything uses video, but you can also do a lot with DIY tools and the stuff built right into your phone. So put some thought into how you envision your brand living in all of these channels.

[00:04:58] Next thing we’re gonna do is take a minute.

[00:05:00] We gotta be honest with ourselves.

[00:05:02] What is the budget for the team and the team’s activities? Because once you have people, you’re gonna have to put more money into production and advertising to make it all run. So be honest with yourself about how much you’re willing to invest to see if this is gonna work.

[00:05:17] Also, what’s the commitment of you or your organization to getting this team or this marketing initiative off the ground?

[00:05:24] Some companies do get lucky, but doing a multi-channel marketing strategy doesn’t blow up overnight, and it is a lot of work. So take a second and ask if you’re committed to seeing it through.

[00:05:35] Also consider whether you and your organization are willing to learn and adapt. 

[00:05:40] When you’re running marketing experiments, the numbers don’t always tell you what you want to hear, so you need to prepare yourself to persevere and learn, and just realize that marketing is a process.

[00:05:51] Next step. We have a super important one, and that sets some outcomes.

[00:05:54] What metrics can marketing do to move your business? Are you looking for attention? Are you looking for traffic and leads, or is it more of a hands-on sales-based process? Know what numbers need to move because marketing happened and you’ll be happier with the time and money you’ve invested.

[00:06:12] Pick one, number

[00:06:13] one number.

[00:06:15] Or max three, if you can’t decide to measure the success of your marketing campaigns,

[00:06:21] this is what your team is going to be held accountable to.

[00:06:24] Lastly, know how and when those numbers are gonna be reported. If you don’t have the systems in place to track and know what’s been going on with your marketing campaigns, then rewind and do that first.

[00:06:37] Another thing you gotta do is outline a production plan.

[00:06:41] Normally it’s something really high level, like creative brainstorm, draft edit plan for release.

[00:06:48] Once you’ve got some people in place, use that production plan and iterate with them to figure out how everyone works well together.

[00:06:55] Another systems thing I’d recommend would be to think about how that plan fits into a project management tool so you can keep track of all of the things you’re doing. I’ll do another video on that in the near future.

[00:07:06] Once you’ve got a few pieces of content out there, always remember to review your results so that you know what you’re doing and you can adjust while you’re going. And then keep going! No matter how you’ve structured your team, Continuing to push forward is the only way to find the gold in the Marketing Mountains.

[00:07:23] When it comes time to hire the talents, there’s really three ways to do it. You can go all internal, you can go all external, or you can do a hybrid of the two. Each has its own pros and cons. The primary benefit of having the team internal to your company or organization is ownership and communication. They work tightly together, and over time they own the results. If you have the proper processes in place, they also keep records so that they continue to build on their learning.

[00:07:54] And really get to know how the brand lives out in the marketing media space, on the downside, it’s a little bit more expensive, and over time, if you don’t motivate properly, the team will get comfortable and your results will dwindle

[00:08:07] external talent is really great because they’re flexible in that you can bring them in and let them go or engage for a specific project. Also, they bring new creativity and an outside view that you may not have seen if you’re very focused on your business. But on the downside, there’s no real ownership there. Unless you find a good agency or group of contractors, they’re gonna do the job and walk away.

[00:08:30] So hopefully they did a good job. 

[00:08:32] Also, if you’re using an agency, you lose the whole team and you’ll often lose learnings about what made winning campaigns work because the people have gone on to the next thing.

[00:08:42] The third one is probably my preferred way, and it’s a hybrid of the two where you have a small group internal to the company that owns the core marketing process and kind of the essence of how the company operates in the different channels, but uses contractors or AI to scale and do more content.

[00:09:00] The downside of the hybrid model is it does require a little more coordination because you do have payroll or regular contracted employees as well as people coming in and out. You’re adding new permissions and trying to make sure they can all work together effectively.

[00:09:14] So there is a little bit more work there but long term, from what I’ve seen, the brand tends to be more stable.

[00:09:20] And since we could all use a little stability in this crazy world, the hybrid model is the one I recommend to most startups, founders. Small businesses where you have a core team that owns the main part of the brand, or at the very least how it’s operating into the channels, but then you use contractors or AI to scale out the amount of stuff that you can do and how quickly you can do it.

[00:09:44] If you have questions or comments about how to structure it for your business. Put them in the comments below and let’s talk about it.

[00:09:49] But remember, there’s no right answer, putting together a team is always an interesting process because it depends on who’s available and the work that you’re trying to do and a million other factors so you just need to figure out what you need and go out there and find the people to help you do it.

[00:10:06] If you’re trying to do this for yourself or your business, I’d recommend just watching this video, following along with a piece of paper and making your own plan.

[00:10:14] Your plan doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to be written down somewhere so you know what you’re doing and you’re bringing in the right people because bringing in the wrong people will waste time, and time is money and marketing is seldom cheap. 

[00:10:27] If you have any questions, feel free to put them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help you out. Otherwise, have a great day and I wish you much marketing success.

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